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davevancat 04-11-2009 12:21

Securing to the Dock
i have a question regarding tying up my sailboat to the dock. ive always been under the impression that it was best to secure the boat bow and stern tightly to the dock then setup the spring lines. couple of fellow boaters in my marina are telling me that its better to leave the lines slack. i would think that with winds or current that the boat wiould tend to slam into the dock more that way. can someone please expalin this to me. thank you

pjop 04-11-2009 12:49

IMVHO it just depends on the direction of waves, current and wind in relation to the dock. I would think a bit of slack would help in placement of fenders and keeping the toe rail from scraping along the side of piers, which in somecases is worse then a bump. I can see tying her tight too if there are waves bouncing her off the dock.

Sahara 04-11-2009 14:09

Are you tying to a floating dock? Fixed pier with a big tide range?

If a fixed pier with significant tides, you want long bow and stern lines, led well fore and aft, as well as long springs, all with enough slack to absorb the tide rise and fall. If there are pilings alongside, fender boards may be in order. Similar if you're in a slip that has you tie to pilings. Even at a floating dock, I'm inclined to leave some slack so the lines don't fetch up tight with every little passing wake, and so I'm not constantly crushing the fenders (even though they are fleece covered). Springs should always be long, so that a little roll doesn't put undue shock on the dock cleats.

David M 04-11-2009 14:17

There is no hard and fast rule for that, it depends on many factors. If however you tie up your boat prevents damage to your boat, others boats or the dock, then you are doing it correctly.

Solitude 04-11-2009 14:54

When you say tight to the dock what do you mean? You may not want to get fender rash by squeezing the fenders against the hull.

Badsanta 04-11-2009 18:09

I tie mine up loosely then push it side to side and back and forth and check at different tides. If it bumps or come close to the dock or pilings it is too loose and I tighten up a line or two. I dont mind it moving around some, I just dont want it rubbing or touching anything. But all that will change in a storm surge or abnormal tide. I cant believe the people who never check their boat.

michaelmrc 05-11-2009 11:47

the docks at our marina rise and fall with the tides so in my slip i just tie the boat up 2 bow lines 1 stern and 2 spring lines. i pull it in so that the bumpers have a little bit of space between the boat and the dock not jammed right up so that the fenders squeak but not so loose that the boat slams into the dock with the wind.

barnakiel 05-11-2009 13:57

On the floating pontoon, the fore and afts and the springs can be pretty snug if they are long, but the breast lines need more slack. The shorter the lines the more slack they generally need.


Solitude 05-11-2009 15:05

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 10928

MarkJ 05-11-2009 16:53

When at a marina (which isnt too often) I walk arround and have a look how everyone else is moored. 1 bow line and 87 stern lines means squalls come through from one diection (you decide which way!); long loose lines means tide etc; extra fenders for wash etc.

The locals may have some tricks up their sleve for just your marina :)

Of course they may just be ratbags who know nothing :D

David M 05-11-2009 17:04


Originally Posted by MarkJ (Post 357614)

Of course they may just be ratbags who know nothing :D

Polypro is an indicator. :D

barnakiel 05-11-2009 17:38


Originally Posted by Solitude (Post 357557)

Huh - but most marinas I have bee have fingers shorter than the boat ...


cal40john 05-11-2009 20:21


Originally Posted by Solitude (Post 357557)

I'd say that the names of the lines are reversed.


Solitude 06-11-2009 21:33

Your right! Ha

Originally Posted by cal40john (Post 357689)
I'd say that the names of the lines are reversed.


I guess that teaches me for taking somthing off the net!:D:D

GordMay 07-11-2009 04:37

1 Attachment(s)
See SOME of the many effective dockline arrangements

Terminology ➘

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